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Review: Destination Unknown – “A raw, shocking but vital story”

This bold documentary looks not only at people’s accounts of what happened to them during the Holocaust but also what happened to them once the war was over.

Many survivors lost their entire families in the camps and have spent decades trying to move on from the horrors they endured – things that are not likely to soon be forgotten.

With such a harrowing subject matter, no frills are needed, which is why Claire Ferguson’s directing style works so well here. There’s no narration, no plotting of the story. There are only these people. They are left to talk, telling their stories in their own words with all the emotion they still carry.

As if that weren’t enough, there is also actual footage of the camps. Some of it was taken during the war and some was from the allied armies as they arrived. All of it is horrific and shocking.

One of the most fascinating elements of the film is that they managed to get people on camera talking about Oskar Schindler – people like Mietek Pemper who is usually extremely private about what happened and what he went through. And as three different stories converge in one camp, a clearer picture of what happened begins to emerge.

Destination Unknown is by no means an easy watch but it is an essential one. Powerful and astonishing, this is a raw, shocking but vital story of life both during and after the Holocaust.

Destination Unknown arrives in UK cinemas on 16th June.

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